Papa Koloi, a worker at the Trentham General Motors car assembly plant, hoses down a car body with white spirits after it has been sprayed with phosphate and dipped in black enamel paint to enhance corrosion resistance. This plant opened in 1967. For 17 years the company had two plants in the Hutt Valley – a Petone plant operated from 1928 to 1984. The car assembly industry was largely created because government imposed tariffs on cars imported fully assembled. A percentage of New Zealand content had to be used in factories, so locally made auto glass, exhausts, seats, wiring looms, carpets and batteries were used.
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